Campus News

UGA Honors student awarded James Madison Graduate Fellowship

Megan Ernst-v
Megan Ernst

Second consecutive year a UGA student has received the award for aspiring teachers of the U.S. Constitution

Athens, Ga. – Megan Ernst, a fourth-year University of Georgia Honors student and Foundation Fellow from Atlanta, has been awarded a 2015 James Madison Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship provides up to $24,000 for graduate study for individuals who desire to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. No more than one student per state can receive the fellowship, and 2015 marks the second consecutive year that a UGA student has earned the award for constitutional history and government for secondary teachers.

Ernst intends to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the School of Public and International Affairs and a Master of Public Administration from SPIA. Ernst intends to use her fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in teaching in secondary social studies education from the UGA College of Education.

She has immersed herself in issues related to education and education policy while at UGA. She is currently a program specialist in the College of Education’s Office of School Engagement and is a graduate intern at the Georgia Department of Education. As a senior fellow for education policy at UGA’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, a student-run think tank, she conducts policy research, writes opinion pieces and works with the media. In addition, she interned at a policy-consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and was co-executive director of Whatever It Takes at UGA, where she worked to address education inequality and helped found three after-school programs in public housing communities in Athens.

Her on-campus activities also include serving as chief of staff for UGA’s Student Government Association and executive editor of UGA’s Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. She is a former administration beat reporter for The Red & Black student newspaper and currently serves on UGA’s Women’s Resources Coordinating Committee.

In addition to being a recipient of the Foundation Fellowship, UGA’s foremost undergraduate scholarship, Ernst was named a Koonin Scholar, McGill Fellow and Hawkins Scholar in the Grady College, as well as a Public Service and Outreach Student Scholar. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Blue Key honor societies.

“I hope to leverage experiences from my time at UGA to engage my future students in critical thought about the policies that shape their community, state and country, while also helping to empower them to use their voice in the democratic process we’ve been afforded,” Ernst said. “I hope to contribute to good policy and an effective democracy by being a part of educating our electorate.”

To learn more about the James Madison Graduate Fellowship, see